Thursday, February 16, 2012

Love Day Recap!

When I think of love, I think of God. He sent his Son to die for my sins, and that's a beautiful, powerful, life-changing thing.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. ~ 1 John 4:7

And sometimes I get too caught up in my life and my schedule that I forget that the whole reason I'm here on this earth is to show the love of Christ to others. And for me this year, Valentine's Day was a great reminder of this. 

Usually, Justin and I aren't huge fans of this holiday, but we did squeeze in a few unexpected & lovely celebrations this year. Saturday night we had a Valentine's Day dinner with my in-laws. Sorry for the blurry & poorly-lit photos, I didn't realize my flash was turned off.

A beautiful centerpiece made with carnations (my favorite flower)!

And just for good measure and keeping with this over-sharing theme, here's a picture of my carnation bouquet from our wedding.  (my sister's carried the white bouquets). 

Back to Saturday's dinner, it was truly a meal fit for a king (or queen!). We had steak, lobster, potatoes, and broccoli. 
My stomach just growled. Yum.

The following day we had a very special lunch with my family to celebrate my sister Lindsay's 26th birthday! (Lindsay's on the right, Taylor's on the left). I forgot to take my camera along - woops!

And as if all this goodness wasn't enough . . . I came home from work on Tuesday to find dinner made by sweet Justin waiting for me.

Homemade stromboli - complete with a heart in the center. 

Could my love tank be any fuller? 

 Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You. 
~ Psalm 63:3

How did you celebrate Valentine's day? Any unexpected surprises? And I probably won't be posting again this week, so what's on tap for the weekend? :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pink and Red and Glitter and Hearts! Oh My!

I've never been a huge fan of  Valentine's Day. It feels like hallmark is trying to force me to love the person I already love everyday. Justin & I will stay in, avoiding the masses, and have a nice quiet dinner. Like we do almost everyday. But maybe I'll light a few candles :)

Something I am a big fan of though is the color pink. Now in order to keep my husband happy I refrain from buying pink fluffy comforters and instead wear a bright pink sweater from time to time. But, if any of you are still here (mom?), you may remember that back in November I bought this adorable pink and red heart fabric scrap specifically for Valentine's Day. Because it's the one time of the year I can break out a couple pink hearts and not get any looks.

. . . well, not too many looks.

First I gathered my supplies. I was originally planning to make a dish towel and back it with one of Justin's white shirts. But then I decided to go with my original plan and make a table runner. So all you need is the fabric scrap, some scissors, stitch witchery, and an iron.

Then I hemmed one of the sides by placing the stitch witchery between the folded  fabric and then ironing on top. Be sure to use your iron on the "wool" setting because it helps create a stronger hold!

I did the same thing with the other side. You can see I didn't bother with making sure all my edges were perfectly straight. Oh & sorry for the horrible lighting . . . our iron is right in front of the window and I'm not a very good photographer.
Then I hemmed the ends using the same technique. Once all the edges had a clean line, I swapped out the maroon curtain we usually use as a runner for this festive heart-adorned one!

I switched some of our decorations around too. I got that awesome green vase from my sister-in-law for Christmas and I love it! And I changed out Justin's drawings in the one frame too.

Check out the book in the middle of my stack. Help your husband stay alive! It has the funniest marital advice from the 50s. I should do a post one day on the stuff inside that book - it's hilariously awesome. 

Back to the project at hand . . . since I already had the stitch witchery, the only thing I bought was the fabric. This brings the grand total for this project to 50 cents!! Not bad for a little loving-cheer. :)

Are you decorating for Valentine's Day? Have you made any lovely crafts lately?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hello Again!

I took a little blogging break. And it felt pretty good. I actually debated shutting this whole thing down but then a sweet comment from Katie (Paisley Print Shoes) warmed my heart and all was right again in the blogosphere.

But if we're keeping things real . . . I'll let you know that my posts are going to be a bit more sporadic. Justin & I try our best to save up for projects but then sometimes the dishwasher breaks (twice) or there's a leak in the basement that requires our attention and, unfortunately, our money. As we start projects I'll be sure to share them though. Right now we're mulling over what our next project should be . . . we're thinking either the bathroom or our bedroom. I'll keep you posted once we've decided!

On a completely different note, a few weeks ago my mom, sister & brother came over for the weekend. And it snowed!
 Justin threw snow at me. Typical boy :)

Back of our house.  . . you can see my two planters never made it inside this year. Woops.

My sister's dog Sylvie love the snow! This was the only decent picture of her I was able to take. 

The rest of the time Sylvie ran around like a crazed canine.

Thanks for bearing with me everyone! Have a great Monday! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Paint & Pictures

Oops. I posted out of order. If you're super observant, you may have noticed in yesterday's post that our walls were a different color from last week. That's because we painted the walls & the ceiling! We carried the darker color on the accent wall in our living room up into the whole hallway, and painted the ceiling a nice, crisp white (it was tan before).

Are you wondering about that black frame in the corner? Well, we made a little gallery wall!

See how our new lighting shines right on it, illuminating the fingerprints on the right? 

Here's the low-down on what we framed:

  • The flowers on the left are temporary - they're going to be replaced by a print out of my favorite hymn once I make my way over to Staples.
  • The sunflower in the middle is drawn by my talented husband. I just love all the detail in it!
  • The framed wedding invitation on the right might also temporary. I'm not in love with the colors of it against the wall, so I may either replace it with something else or mat it in a different color.
  • The picture of Justin & I in the middle is my favorite picture of us. 
  • The drawing on the bottom right is of a little boy pulling a dog in a wagon under a streetlight. This is also drawn by that artsy stud I married and it's definitely staying. 
So what do you think? All the changes in this space lately make me a little giddy every time I walk down the hall.

What changes have you been making lately? Any painting or picture-framing?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What A Wooderful Sight!

Would you like to see something nasty? 

Can I get a collective "ewww" because our carpet is Nasty (with a capital N). 

So Saturday morning, while still in our pajamas, we got sick of looking at the grossness and decided this carpet had to go.

And just like that, madness ensued.
We assumed there would be hardwood underneath because the rest of our house has hardwood, but we weren't sure what kind of condition it would be in.

Justin pulled all the carpeting up while I carried it out to our storage shed. Teamwork folks. 

We didn't take any pictures of how the flooring initially looked underneath because we got to work right away pulling out all those staples. 
That blue nonsense at the bottom of the stairs is me. I told you we did all this in our pj's. . . 

After several grueling hours of pulling out staples, this is what we were left with. (You'll have to ignore the tools scattered everywhere - this is real life people).

 The new view from the living room.

The landing on the stairs has these adorable small planks. I wish the rest of the flooring in our house was like this!

In the last photo you can see that we still have carpeting in our bedroom. Eventually we'd like to replace that carpeting, that's why we haven't finished off the edge. 

So now that the carpeting is up, we have to refinish the floor. We're thinking about staining the wood a darker tone. But since our whole house (except our bedroom) is hardwood, we'll probably start upstairs and then eventually work our way downstairs.  

But oh to have floors like this . . . 
A girl can dream, right?

So what projects have you been working on lately? Have you ever refinished hardwood flooring? Any tips/advice?

ps: image from here

Monday, January 16, 2012

Goodbye Christmas!

It's January 16th and our gorgeous Christmas tree is coming down today. 

But - thanks to that good ole' self timer button, we did manage to finally get a picture in front of the tree last night. 

In completely unrelated news, we've been busy here at the Rothenberger casa. I'm a smidge behind with this whole picture-taking and blog-writing thing, but you should be getting some updates soon! Want a hint?

It's a wooderful sight. 

Cheese much? Yes ma'm.

Have a great Monday everyone!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Super Duper Savings - Part 2

Let's talk about detergent.   

As a Christian I feel convicted to be a good steward of what God has given me. So even though seventh generation makes amazing products that clean very well and smell fantastic in the process, they can put my budget over the edge. It costs $6.99 a box, which isn't exactly highway robbery, but it also isn't chum change. Two idioms in one sentence - thankyouverymuch English degree.

So I decided to make my own dishwasher detergent. I'm a bad blogger and took zero pictures. It's pretty self-explanatory though.

In a large bowl combine:
- 1 cup of washing soda
- 1 cup of borax
- 1 cup of Lemi-shine (we have hard water so I found that using a cup really seems to help, but if you have soft water you may only need to use 1/2 cup)

Keep this powdered mixture out on the counter for several days. Every time you pass by, mix it up. I used a potato masher, but you could use a wooden spoon if you don't have a tater masher. This step is very important because it helps prevent the detergent from clumping down the road!

Then, transfer your detergent to a sealed container. Put 1 tablespoon of this goodness in with your dirty dishes and wait for the magic to happen! I also use white vinegar as my rinse aid, which helps make my dishes sparkle!

I have been using this detergent for a while now and I think it works just as well (maybe even better!) as the store bought kinds. My dishes come out so clean and shiny. It's a win for my dishes and a win for my bank account. Bam. Happy cleaning!

Do you have any homemade recipes you'd like to share? Any natural cleaners you like to use? I'd love to hear about them!

ps: read all about super duper savings part one here
pss: image from here

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lighting Upgrades

You know the final walk through you do the day before or day of closing? When you're just checking to see if the sellers were hiding any holes in the walls with artwork or covering any stained floors with rugs? Well, we didn't find any of those tell-tale deceptive signs. . . instead we found a hanging hall light.
Our realtor explained to us that we could ask the sellers to fix this since it was properly secured when we made an offer on the house, but we figured it just needed to be fixed with a few screws so we didn't bother.

Actually I think our exact words were, "Don't worry about it. We can fix it this weekend. It's no big deal."


We were right in one sense - it wasn't a big deal at all. But did we fix it that weekend? No. We lived with that sucker hanging down for 6 MONTHS.

This view greeted us as we walked down the hall every day. Real classy.

So it's a new year and we decided to do something about this light. At first we were going to spray paint it like we did to our brassy fixtures downstairs, but instead we raised the bar. While perusing the aisles at Home Depot the other day, we found and bought this Hampton Bay track light. At just under $50, it was a little pricier than we would have liked - but it was pretty and we decided to try it anyway.

I love the oil-rubbed bronze color. And I love that we can position the lights to shine where we'd like. The main reason we decided to get this light was because we can highlight our artwork on the walls once we get around to actually hanging it.

See how the light shines right on the wall? We have big plans for that space. Right after we get around to painting the hall. We've had the paint for about 3 months already. . . so if we keep to our previous schedule you should expect to see this finished space in March.

But hey, it is a new year after all . . . so maybe it'll be done in February. :)

PS: When I came home last night Justin was installing another one of these lights in our living room. He replaced the boob light in the top right corner. Now our lighting matches! I'll have to take an updated picture and share that soon, along with the new piece of furniture that lives in this room!
Has anyone else taken a long time to make a simple upgrade? What do you think of our new lights? Any guesses on what new piece of furniture we have?


Happy New Year and welcome 2012!

We brought the new year in with a bang. A good old fashioned skeet shoot. Justin and the boys played with their guns while I shot pictures with my camera. See those flying orange discs in the left corner? There she blows!

The remains of a good time . . . 
How did you usher in the new year? Was anyone else thinking of this guy the whole time you were reading this post? 
Skeeter image from here. 

Ahh Doug Funny. They don't make shows like that anymore. 

PS: Check back tomorrow to see our first project of the new year!